Agriculture Notes

Agriculture Notes

August 22, 2004

Back-to-school day at farmers' market

The Carroll County Summer Farmers' Market will be open from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the Carroll County Agriculture Center on Smith Avenue, Westminster.

Saturday is back-to-school day with face-painting and drawings for gift bags of school supplies for children. Mothers can enter a drawing for beauty and bath gift bags.

Amy Williamson will have a display of Discovery Toys. Demonstrations will be given by Elaine Esworthy of knitting and Susan Withnell of spinning.

Homemade pies, cakes, cookies, breads, jams, jellies and candies will be available, along with fresh eggs and other seasonal produce. The cafeteria is open during market hours for breakfast and lunch. Admission and parking are free.

Information: 410-848-7748.

USDA launching conservation initiatives

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is launching two new conservation programs.

A Northern Bobwhite Quail Habitat Initiative will create 250,000 acres of habitat for the bird, a native quail species. Maryland has been allocated 2,100 acres.

The Bobwhite quail, seen around farms, has declined from an estimated 59 million to about 20 million birds. Their habitats are disappearing because of urbanization, increased grassland cultivation and transitioning of grassy fields into woods and forests.

Another new measure to restore the non-flood-plain wetlands practice will create an additional 250,000 acres of wetlands and playa lakes in non-flood-plain areas.

The program will allow landowners to enroll large wetland complexes and playa lakes outside the 100-year floodplain.

The Farm Service Agency will offer participants an incentive payment equal to 25 percent of the cost of restoring the hydrology of the site, an annual rental payment and cost-share assistance of up to 50 percent of eligible practice installation costs.

Program sign-up for the programs will begin Oct. 1 at local Farm Service Agency offices and continue until the total acreage has been enrolled or Dec. 31, 2007.

To determine individual eligibility for either initiative, landowners should check with their FSA office.

Information: Carroll County FSA office, 1004 Littlestown Pike, Suite C., Westminster, 410-848-2780; or www.fsa.us da.gov.

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